"I am getting big objections from the men at our club because I banned cargo shorts in the dress code. What do you say?"
The other day this question came to me from one of my readers who, as the board member in charge of his club's dress code policy, obviously had a cargo shorts controversy on his hands.
So, are cargo shorts really controversial? On many U.S. golf courses, it seems they are. In researching the issue I found numerous references to the ample, multi-pocketed pants in country club dress codes from across the nation.
Generally, at many of these private playgrounds, cargo shorts appear to to be on a par with ...say...spandex leggings or draw string warm up pants.
"Tank tops, tee shirts, fishnet tops, cut-offs, cargo shorts, blue jeans, bathing suits, tennis, boating or exercise shorts and other athletic shorts are not permitted". That's the way the men's dress code rules at gorgeous Island Country Club of Marco Island, Florida puts it. Many private clubs were equally categorical in their rejection of any pant with the word cargo in it's name. Others however, seemed a bit more flexible, rejecting only, "Cargo shorts that are baggy, or with exaggerated pockets..." but wait a minute, are all cargo pants baggy with big pockets? Well the Under Armour Birdie Cargo Shorts are, and the Ralph Loren Classic Cargos are pretty ample as well, but surprisingly (to me) Izod's Golf XFG Zip Cargo Shorts are quite sleek as are Nike's Classic Cargos.
And therein probably lies the problem. Though we all certainly have an image in our mind when we think of "cargo shorts", in fact, they can actually be anything from sleek Bermuda shorts with a discreet extra pocket or two, to voluminous mid-calf clown pants with a multitude of huge, superfluous pockets.
I snapped the photo above yesterday at Candlewood Valley Country Club, a high end public golf course. As at many such courses, their dress code is simply stated as "traditional golf attire". Well, I don't know about traditional, but these guys were unconditional cargo fans...and told me they'd definitely think twice about playing where they weren't permitted.
So, what do you think of the cargo conundrum?
UPDATE: Over the weekend a couple of GGD readers, golf bloggers Cameron Davidson and Scot Duke were doing a film shoot at the 500 Club in Phoenix AZ and witnessed the scene below. Cameron snapped a photo and sent me the evidence: Apparently cargo shorts are alive and well...and appreciated by quite a number of golfers.